Tarot Top 5: Newbie Friends + Tarot Edition

I'm spending this weekend hanging out with some of my girl friends out of town. Ever since I started pulling cards professionally, my friends have gotten into it too — some asking for regular readings, while others wanting to learn it. 

I get asked a lot about what tarot decks to start with, so here are my top picks for getting folks in your social circle into your fun hobby too:

1. Housewives Tarot (by Paul Kepple and Jude Buffum, Quirk Books). This is the kind of deck you'll want to pull out at a dinner party — the 50s housewives references are hilarious. While this is typically dismissed as a "novelty" deck, I think its theme makes it so much more accessible than other more esoteric-type decks. You can easily plan a tarot party with your pals and have this as the deck of the night — it comes with recipes you can dress your night with too. The guidebook is succinct but delivers pretty easy-to-remember meanings you can stuff in your purse for a quick study. Check out my review of this deck over here.

2. Centennial Smith-Waite Tarot Deck (by Pamela Colman Smith, US Games). When your friends get really serious about learning the tarot, it'll benefit them to get a standard RWS. It's something that everyone's collection benefits from, whether or not you click with the art right away. I feel like the RWS is an acquired taste, but your eyes open up to it when you put in enough study time. If they're bent on learning, this is a no brainer.

3. The Fountain Tarot (by Jason Gruhl, Jonathan Saiz and Andi Todaro). For the friends with a discerning eye for art, who want something a little more stylish than your typical tarot deck and are serious about learning. The Fountain Tarot is attractive — it gets people intrigued, whether or not they were interested in learning tarot in the first place. The book that comes with it is little but packs a great punch. It's small but I think it says everything that needs to be said. This also makes for a beautiful gift, if you're generous enough to get your friends something pretty!

4. The Sakki-Sakki Tarot (by Monicka Clio Sakki). This deck is friendly, warm and non-intimidating. A lot of people get shell-shocked when they realize exactly how many cards are involved in learning the tarot. This deck eases you into the process of learning. Its little white book is comprehensive (its list of suggested three-card spreads is my favorite). The Sakki-Sakki also has a companion guidebook, but for beginners just dipping their feet in tarot, I feel its LWB is enough. This deck is fun, the card stock is hardy (you can bring it everywhere and not get it ruined), and the box has a DIY aspect that's fun for friends to work on together. Click over here to see a more full length review.

5. Small Spells Tarot (by Rachel Howe). Small Spells is simple — it lays out the tarot card meanings through a combination of hand-drawn, black and white illustrations. To me, figuring out the meanings of each card is almost like reading a slew of emojis (I'm pretty sure you've had more than enough emoji convos with your friends to know how this goes). The deck comes with a great book too — it'll walk you through different possibilities in terms of meanings, but I feel like decoding the cards, one by one, would be a fun activity to get into with friends as well.

PS: What would *you* recommend to friends who are looking into tarot?